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Rampant Madrid ease Basel aside

Real Madrid CF 5-1 FC Basel 1893
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodríguez all struck in a comfortable home win while Karim Benzema scored the holders' 1,000th European goal.

Rampant Madrid ease Basel aside
Rampant Madrid ease Basel aside ©UEFA.com

Reigning champions ease to comfortable win against Swiss title holders
Marek Suchý's 14th-minute own goal sets Madrid on their way 
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodríguez also on target 
Karim Benzema's late fifth is holders' 1,000th European goal
Next games: Ludogorets v Madrid, Basel v Liverpool (1 October)

Real Madrid CF got their UEFA Champions League title defence off to an impressive start, a devastating first-half attacking display setting up victory against FC Basel 1893 in Group B.

The hosts dominated possession from the off, efforts from Luka Modrić and Cristiano Ronaldo flying over the bar. Just when it looked as though Basel had weathered the early storm, some excellent build-up play down the right gave James Rodríguez the chance to back-heel the ball into Nacho's path and the full-back's cross was inadvertently deflected past his own goalkeeper by Marek Suchý.

The visitors almost drew level immediately, Marco Streller sending Taulant Xhaka's cross into the side netting, yet it was the Merengues who did the majority of the pressing. Modrić and Pepe both drew fine saves from Tomáš Vaclík although the goalkeeper was exposed again on the half-hour when Modrić's pass over the top found the run of Gareth Bale. The Welshman coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing Vaclík before tapping into an empty net.

That sparked a flurry of three Madrid goals in eight minutes. Modrić and Bale combined to set up last season's 17-goal tournament top scorer Ronaldo for his first of this term's competition before James tapped in after Karim Benzema's deflected effort had been clawed away by Vaclík. Less than 60 seconds later Derlis Gonzalez raced onto a Luca Zuffi through ball to fire low across Iker Casillas and into the far corner – yet that solitary riposte was as good as it got for Basel.

After the frenetic first period it was perhaps little surprise that the second 45 minutes were a tighter affair. Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos did threaten from set pieces while Casillas produced a stunning reaction stop from Gonzalez after the goalscorer had collected a ball over the top of the Blancos' back line.

The Madrid captain was beaten again when Basel centre-back Fabian Schär charged forward, but the long-range attempt clipped the post. Instead the last word went to Madrid. Benzema exchanged passes with Ronaldo before thumping in his team's fifth goal of the evening, marking Madrid's intent to mount a first successful defence of the UEFA Champions League crown.